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Check out new video of the Plasanator on utube.com


This Ebook is designed for Guys and Gals who like to create tools and machinery.

I hope my Ebook gives you hope that no matter how hard a project may seem, keep plugging away until you finish and you will succeed.

I spent 3 years putting this together and now finally all my hard work and research has paid off.

I studied diagrams from commercial venders, but to no luck. They tend to leave a lot out – on purpose - so it’s hard to reproduce their design. I’ve see different attempts at people making their own on You Tube and other sites, but what a death trap. Messy water resistors and wiring like a darn Christmas tree.

So I began reading books and articles on their workings and took my home schooled-knowledge of electronics to build my own plasma cutter. I was determined; failure was not an option.

I started by collecting parts from old microwaves, stoves, water heaters, air conditioners, car parts and more in the hopes of creating a low budget way to create a plasma cutter for myself. I mounted it all on a simple piece of scrap wood; well it’s scrap wood now. We, didn’t need that table anyway (shhhhhhh don’t tell the wife).

Then one day it all came together. I hit the power switch, placed the head to the metal, started the arc, felt the air kick and then a second hard kick (the current being drawn into play). Then BAM, it was slicing through quarter inch steel like a hot knife through butter.

How sweet it sounded! I felt the amazement of completing a project that I just couldn’t let go of.

So, take your time, enjoy and be safe.

The Plasaman

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SuusiM-B4 days ago

Nice project. Have you ever measured the current drawn by the arc? Or measured the arc current over time? I would be rather interested in that infomation. Thanks :)

AN observation. Page 22 of your ebook High Current side wiring.

Disconnect the wire from the contactor to the C on the bridge rectifier at point C. Then connect it to the center of the two reservoir capacitors.

Remove the wire from the center of the capacitors to C.

This modification takes the circuit to a classic voltage doubler.

google the ESAB HANDY PLASMA 125 manual it has more of the ignition arc circuit diagram on it than others that I have seen. I love the brilliant simplicity of your solutions. From a safety point of view a bleeder resistor on the two capacitors to bleed the High Voltage capacitors. Say 5K 15 watt

excuse my ignorance, that serves the water heater element

gkelty2 months ago

Sorry you have a great instructable but I still have a few questions. For example why do you have a large heating resistor, what purpose does it serve? Also whats the voltage for starting the arc, and what voltage are you using to sustain it? Also why do you have capacitors what is it they help with? I'm sorry if these are basic questions I just don't understand all the theory for how to design a cutter.

JakubE6 months ago

Why do you put arc tip to the torch on outside and not to + work clamp?

Plasanator (author)  JakubE6 months ago

I have one side to tip and other is connected to clamp inside

en2oh6 months ago

any thoughts on modifying a stock DC inverter welder like a cheap Harbor freight to function as a plasma cutter?

Nice instructable

Plasanator (author)  en2oh6 months ago

If the voltages are the same as regular welder it wont work, need higher voltages.

If they are at least 300 coming out it will.

Plasanator (author) 6 months ago

No reason go for it.

The idea is to use what you can afford and find,

en2oh6 months ago

any reason not to use a simple furnace oil burner module for the arc start? I think it would be more reliable and cheaper

This is so helpful, Sir, thank you for sharing your hard earned knowledge. My buddy and I are in the collecting parts phase, and this is already very helpful. Thanks again!

PS: I'm sure I'll be back with questions at some point, hope you don't mind!
Plasanator (author)  Benjamin.M.Withrow6 months ago


JakubE7 months ago


please, have you some plans of Plasanator (5)? I need something with little more cutting power.

Plasanator (author)  JakubE6 months ago

im working on but soon.

JakubE JakubE7 months ago

Is it possible to use two 6kW heating elements with 230V?

Plasanator (author)  JakubE7 months ago

should work fine.

Plasanator (author)  JakubE7 months ago

Still working on them want them to be perfect for this will be my last version.

this is awesome, im a little hung on the ins n outs as of right now but i will research as you did , i reckon i will need a different circuit as we use a higher voltage in england. good work for pioneering for us all and sharing that :D

Plasanator (author)  ash.springer.96 months ago

what voltage do you use? if its 220or 240 it will work great.

bettina-sisr7 months ago

YOU ROCK! (Or cut )with style! This is great, gotta a extra one of you? Anyway thanks for this inspiration, I'm not smart enough to create this, but I love that other hard working people are!

Upaa278 months ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't something like this work? T1-3 are microwave oven transformers. If we wind these for 200v each, the rectification should push the voltage to almost 300v to charge the caps. C2 dumps through T4 to ignite plasma and C1 can then discharge through the plasma. I would imagine with 3000uf, it should maintain continuos discharge with 15 amps even if only 60hz. I used 3 ac mains so that no breakers blow. The air flow and fan could be easily incorporated into the schematic I just didn't find any symbols for them.

What do you guys think?

Upaa27 Upaa278 months ago

Sorry I mean to say the total voltage output is 200v from the transformers not 200v each. I'm really tired right now :O

this pic should've been fist page not third or forth in line.

After all of this man's hard work, that's what you get out of this? Please, for your own sake, don't try building this lmao
great job,, where can i salvage the high voltage bridge rectifier. i can't seem to find anything that uses one that can handle this much voltage,,other than just buying a new one, thx
Plasanator (author)  dthompson3211 months ago

eBay has them for about 16 bucks.

Great project. I am in the works of constructing my own working from your design. I have two questions. Is the isolation transformer necessary? Also, what are you using for your compressed air source? Just an air compressor? Thanks in advance!

Plasanator (author)  experimenter4life11 months ago
I don't use one since all is shut down by gun trigger never had a problem or safety issue.
I just use a regular air compressor bigger the better if you have a lot of cutting to do air last longer and I use a 50 gallon hot water tank made in to an air tank secondary.

Great thanks. Sorry I have one more question I forgot to ask. When you turn the unit on, does it blow the breaker while the capacitors are charging up? Seems like they would pull a looot of current to charge being so big and all. If so how do you work around that problem?

Plasanator (author)  experimenter4life11 months ago

I have never had that problem.

Make sure you have a 30 amp breaker for 120 and at least a 50 amp for 220 use.

Also make sure the 120 power that comes out of your relays is not connected to the other side of ac connection.

Follow the yellow that goes to the two joined relays and comes out blue to high voltage set up and to air solenoid .

PetrieJ11 months ago

Is is possible to make a 1A plasma cutter? I need to cut very thin pieces of 304, but because of the geometry and composition of the parts I am currently stuck chemically etching the material away.

Plasanator (author)  PetrieJ11 months ago
I wouldn't think so and plasma cutting would leave spray all over pcb board.
I recommend using A laser or Drexel tool.
V4V12 months ago

i cant understand why you connect the caps at this strange way. after the bridge you have a plus and a minus full rectified source. so the caps should take this dc voltage.
why do you connect the caps back to the AC line?

Plasanator (author)  V4V12 months ago
It forms a voltage doubler circuit.
rodalino12 months ago

Can this cut aluminum and stainless sheets?

Plasanator (author)  rodalino12 months ago
Yes it can and does very well.

What is the water heater element for ? Don't see it anywhere in these pictures.

Plasanator (author) 1 year ago

Hey all just solder a wire to the hv coil instead of zip tying it and cover solder with silicone of any kind.

wkdavistx1 year ago
If i am putting 240v to the contactor does that mean I'm putting 240v to the air solenoid? I am also reading 650v on the dc side of the rectifier. I am replacing both of these parts (fried the 110v solenoid).
Thank you.
Plasanator (author)  wkdavistx1 year ago

No then you have it hooked up wrong.

The air solenoid goes before the contactor on the input side through a relay.

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